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Abstract

The paper presents an analysis of the influence of the energy generated from renewable sources on an improvement in the energy efficiency of public utility building and households. It also presents the current state of the technologies for the production of electricity from renewable sources, as well as their share in the national power supply system. The conducted analysis concerns both micro, as well as large systems generating electricity. Systems generating power from renewable sources are gaining in popularity. With an increasing awareness in the society of the beneficial influence that renewable power generating systems have on the environment, as well as the support in form of various programs offering subsidies for the construction of new systems, power generation from renewable sources is becoming increasingly popular and common. Although the renewable energy systems are still not widely considered to be a profitable solution, systems using renewable sources of energy are positively perceived and treated as a new trend in the construction of multi or single-family residential buildings. The increasing share of the renewable energy in the national power supply system significantly reduces the demand for energy produced from conventional sources. This obviously translates into a reduced consumption of primary energy, for example, fossil fuels, and, in turn, leads to the reduced exploitation of natural resources, thus contributing to the protection of the natural environment. A reduced consumption of fossil fuels also means a significant reduction in environmental pollution during their processing into electricity or heat. Actions aiming at improving energy efficiency and reducing final energy consumption are being undertaken by many countries all over the world, and by the European Union. In 2012, the European Parliament and the Council issued Directive 2012/27/EU obliging the Member States to initiate actions aiming at a reduction in the consumption of final energy by 1.5% a year. The paper presents the current status of generation of energy from renewable sources during the last 13 years. The ways for using energy from the renewable sources to improve the energy efficiency of facilities were also discussed.
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Abstract

Metal ions can modify plant metabolism and change the level of biologically active components. In the present study, the impact of short-term exposure to strontium on the accumulation of the metal as well as the content of isoflavones in soybean sprouts was investigated. The seeds were germinated in hydroponics with 0, 1, 1.5, 2.5, 5.0, or 10.0 mM of Sr for 72 hours. The content of strontium was assessed using flame atomic absorption spectrometry and the amount of isoflavones was determined with high performance liquid chromatography. Dose-dependent accumulation of Sr and a linear correlation between the Sr concentration in the growth medium and the content of the element in the plant samples were observed. The largest changes in the isoflavone content, compared to the control, were noted in soy sprouts germinated in the presence of 5 and 10 mM of strontium. Daidzin, genistin, malonyldaidzin, and malonylgenistin were the dominant isoflavones and their content increased by approx. 28, 44, 34, and 47%, respectively, compared to the control. Low amounts of aglycones were found; moreover, their content decreased by ca. 19–30%. Our research can be important for obtaining a natural product enhanced with strontium and isoflavones, which contribute to prevention of osteoporosis associated with endogenous oestrogen deficits.
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